News, Views and People from the Russell Ulyatt Group

RU getting festive for charity
December 2017

In the run up to Christmas, the team at The RU Group have been “doing their bit” for 3 local charities.

On 8th December, we supported the GEM 106 Mission Christmas to help raise funds for disadvantaged children in the East Midlands.

Staff wore their Christmas jumpers or a Christmassy accessory in exchange for making a donation to the charity.  A few festive photos are below:

A total of £79 was raised which will go towards buying Christmas presents for children across the area who may not otherwise receive one.

Gifts will go to organisations including “Supporting Leicestershire Families” who work with vulnerable and troubled families across the county.  The children often feel isolated when they see everyone else getting a present.  Giving them a little something helps them feel loved.

In addition, instead of sending each other Christmas cards this year, staff at The RU Group brought in various items including food, clothing and toiletries to make up 3 hampers to send to two local charities.

The Canaan Trust are a charity based in Long Eaton who offer 24 hour support to homeless males who are often vulnerable, socially excluded and forgotten members of our society.

Emmanuel House based in the centre of Nottingham are a local charity supporting homeless, vulnerable or isolated adults in and around Nottingham.

A big thank you to the team for helping to spread a little Christmas joy.

 

Autumn Budget
November 2017

Mr Hammond will probably be pleased if commentators decide that his Autumn Budget was a steady-as-she-goes, broadly modest Budget.  After the national insurance u-turn he was forced to make after his March Budget this year, that was probably his aim.

Please click here to view our Budget Summary.

In any case, for a variety of economic and political reasons, the Chancellor announced a relatively modest net tax giveaway of just under £1.6 billion for the coming tax year.

His main attention-seeking move was to give first time buyers an exemption from stamp duty land tax on the first £300,000 of value for properties worth up to £500,000.  Rumours – probably from the Treasury itself – had trailed changes along these lines, and the new relief represents more than a third of his net giveaway.

With income tax, the changes were much less dramatic – increasing both the personal allowance and the higher rate threshold by 3% – the standard inflation-linked increase.  ISA investors saw their main ISA and lifetime ISA investment limits frozen and only children saw a small increase in their specialist ISAs.  There was better news for pension savers who enjoyed a £30,000 increase in the lifetime allowance and thankfully no cuts to the annual allowance.

Several measures were designed to introduce much more of a focus on risk investment for venture capital trusts, enterprise investment schemes and seed enterprise investment schemes.

Most Chancellors tend to cram all the painful announcements into Budgets at the start of a Parliament; for a range of reasons, Mr Hammond decided that he did not need – or perhaps couldn’t afford – to do this.

If there are any issues in this Budget that you would like to discuss in more detail, or if there is anything else we can help you with, please get in touch with us.

Mark Winterton hits the heights for Mind and Cancer Research
October 2017

When Mark Winterton was asked, “how do you fancy a bike ride in France and Spain”, he imagined a pleasant cycle ride taking in vineyards and enjoying long leisurely lunches.

Alt Aneu

Instead, he managed to sign himself up to take part in a 400 mile ride from Bordeaux to Barcelona in just 5 days.  To add to the pain, the ride included 28,500 feet of climbing!  Pretty impressive stuff we think.

Even more impressive, Mark set out to raise some money along the way for two charities – Mind and Cancer Research.

With sections of the ride involving a 15 mile pedal up hill and inclines as steep as 14%, it wasn’t easy.  The climbs were hard.  The downhill stretches petrifying.  But the scenery was spectacular (when it stopped raining) and it was all in a good cause.

Having completed his epic ride, Mark said “I can honestly say it was an amazing experience.  And I managed to raise £1,118 for Cancer Research and £380 for Mind so a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored me.”

Mark taking in the views at La Neste

What a fantastic achievement – well done Mark.  We can’t wait to see what your next challenge will be!

Mark in the clouds at Bossost

 

The Great RU Bake Off – raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support
September 2017

It was cake for breakfast at The RU Group, but all in a good cause.

Members of the team dusted off their aprons and cooked up some fabulous cakes for everyone to enjoy at our Macmillan coffee morning.

As you’ll see from the picture below, there were some tasty treats on offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A very impressive £270 was raised for Macmillan, helping them continue to make a huge difference to people facing cancer.

Special thanks go to our team of bakers.

 

 

So, it’s a hung Parliament …
June 2017

Post election update

As dawn broke following the General Election, the morning light revealed yet another political gamble that had not paid off for the dice roller.  The UK has a hung Parliament, with no party holding an absolute majority.  Such is the unpredictability of a parliamentary democracy.  If you ask the people of the UK what they think, be prepared for the answers that you might receive!

The last few weeks has highlighted the divide in opinion in the country of the role and size of the state in our lives, with further austerity and a shrinking state on the one hand, and a material rise in spending (and taxation for some) on the other.  Each of us has our own feel for what we believe to be best for ourselves and the country, which we were able to express at the ballot box on 8th June.  We also remain, as a nation, somewhat divided on the Brexit issue, although perhaps mostly united in the reality that it is going to go ahead, in one form or another, respecting the will of the (slim) majority.

More importantly, the last few weeks has united us as a nation in grief and utter condemnation of the barbarous terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, and a deep sense of resolve that the values that we collectively hold as a nation are immutable: decency, respect, tolerance and democracy.  The Election result illustrated what this truly means; Members of Parliament losing their seats, magnanimously shaking hands with their victors and accepting the right of the people to have their say.  The election is another stark reminder to those who assault our values that they will never win.

Certainly, it is an awkward time for such political turmoil, with the start of the Brexit negotiations just days away.  We will leave the ramifications of this result and the speculation of what we might expect next to others.  We don’t want to add to the noise or a further sense of election analysis fatigue.

Strong and stable portfolios (if not government)

What we do want to do is to reassure you that your portfolio is well positioned to weather any storms both now and in the future.  It is worth remembering the following:

  • Your portfolio is highly diversified through the thousands of equities and bonds that it holds and the countries that it is invested in.
  • Your non-UK equities are unhedged, which means that you hold this portion of your portfolio in non-GBP currencies.  In the event of a fall in the value of Sterling (GBP), as we have initially seen, these overseas assets will be worth more in Sterling terms.
  • Your  bond holdings – which are hedged – are diversified across global markets, reducing the impact of any rise in the cost of borrowing that might occur on account of the greater uncertainty that the UK faces at this time.
  • While markets don’t like uncertainty, the UK is a small player in the global pond and the General Election result is just a ripple.
  • Portfolios go up and down; they always have and they always will.  If you don’t need to spend the money today, don’t worry about what happens in the coming days, weeks and months.

Although the Election result may feel uncomfortable for some, let’s keep it in proportion.  We live in a tolerant, open society – and by the look of the greater level of engagement in the election by the younger generation – a great democracy that cares passionately about its future.  Put the kettle on, have a nice cup of tea and celebrate this next – if unpredicted and a little uncertain – step for our nation.

If you would like to speak with us about this or any other matter, please feel free to get in touch.

Other notes and risk warnings

  •  This article is for general information only, and is not intended to be advice to any specific person.  No reader should take any action based on the content of the publication without first obtaining personal advice from us or their own financial advisers.
  • The value of investments and any income taken from them can go down as well as up. Exchange rates may cause the value of underlying investments to fall as well as rise.  You may not get back the value of your original investment.
  • Past performance is not indicative of future results and no representation is made that any stated results will be replicated.
  • Any reference to taxation is based on our understanding of the current position, which may change in the future.
  • The actual taxation may be affected by individual circumstances.
  • The FCA does not regulate tax advice, so it is outside the investment protection rules of the Financial Services and Markets Act and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.  The newsletter represents our understanding of law and HM Revenue & Customs practice.  All rights reserved.

WannaCry malware
May 2017

Following the significant global malware attack by WannaCry, we wanted to confirm that our systems have not been impacted.

We constantly work to maintain a high level of security on our network and will continue to closely monitor the situation.